Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Month: November 2001 (Page 4 of 9)

Over at Paladin’s Place they’ve released the SimCategorizer that will allow you to organize your objects into the new Hot Date sub-catagories (a very cool feature IMO). The program also allows you to flag objects for the downtown section and lets you edit existing room and function flags. Very slick and something that was needed by the Sims community (that’s you guys). Great work from SimWardrobe.

Time for a diversion so forgive me if this sounds like a tv commercial. If you search the world (or newsgroups) over for information from the web, there’s an interesting alternet view of life. Miner3D is a web authoring system that allows you to create & browse web pages with OpenGL (the same graphics engine I use for my programs). They’ve just made available their engine for searching google newsgroups with it (over 650 million messages). Hits are visualized as tiles spread in a Doom-like 3D information space where you can navigate, query for details, jump over series of useless hits, and select interesting ones and save them for future use.

I did a search for my own name in the newsgroups and came up with quite a few hits. Click below for the full image (warning: big!). I found the overall process of finding information is much faster and easier than by scrolling through dozens of web pages with tons of text. It’s pretty interesting and you might find it useful (or not). I know, this has nothing to do with The Sims, blueprint or anything else. Back to coding…

Okay, this post is going to be a bit of a rant but I just wanted to get this off my chest.

I’m pretty pissed at the feedback I’ve been getting lately. First off, I don’t do what I do for fame, glory, attention or money. I do it because I love The Sims and I love the Sims community and just want people to have cool toys to use. I think I’ve accomplished that (maybe not as successfully as I wanted especially where blueprint is concerned). However, while I do have a bunch of people that write me and say “Thanks Bil” I have an equal or greater amount that email me with “Stop putzing around and get something done”, “Your programs suck”, and “You never release anything you promise”. I’ve blown it off before, sticks and stones and all that, but frankly it’s getting to me.

I’m not going to stand up and say some of these claims are not true. It’s been months since the last release of blueprint so for that I’m guilty. For some reason though, people make a lot of assumptions and they’re almost always wrong. Some people thought blueprint was going to be released this weekend and since it isn’t here, I’m a shmuck and my programs suck, etc. etc. One thing I’ve done is that I generally don’t commit to dates. That’s because I don’t have a lot of time to work on this stuff so I’m not going to knock myself out to meet some imaginary date and then disappoint people when nothing appears. If I am going to release something in a week or so, then I usually announce a date then and software magically shows up when I say it will.

I spend a few hours each day (if possible) working on these programs but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes I come home and kick off my shoes and watch reruns of Gilligans Island. Yes, development around here is like watching a glacier roll across the plains yet some people compare me to Maxis. Hello people! They have a dedicated, 8 hour/day staff of dozens compared to me, 1 hour/day Bil. That’s just silly so stop it.

I have seriously considered hanging up my proverbial guns lately because of all this. Sorry, but it’s just driving my batty and I can focus my efforts elsewhere and have some fun again. Things are not fun anymore. Like I said, I know there are some that continue to support me and look forward to new releases but I’m not going to stand up on a podium with 10 people clapping and 15 throwing tomatoes. I certainly don’t need that crap and it’s no skin off my back to pack up and leave. However, I’m not shutting down just yet, but I’m sure tempted to. Of course some people are going to say “Oh, he’s looking for more attention now so let’s keep Bil around by worshipping him and making him feel wanted”. Don’t. All I’m saying is that if you don’t have anything constructive to say then don’t bother coming here. Don’t bother emailing me with stupid messages. And don’t turn people away from this site or the software here, let them be the judge of that themselves. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but do you really need to spread it around if people don’t ask for it?

Thanks for your time.

Hi guys. I didn’t get everything completed I wanted this weekend, but then that’s always the case isn’t it? Anyways, I have a new version of FarExplorer (shown below) that’s coming up shortly. This will allow you to browse Far files for all the expansion packs and has new features like object previews, sound (WAV only) players, and wizards for creating new Far files. You can still use the current Far Edit program to do your bidding, the file formats have not changed with Hot Date.

I’m still putting together ideas and options for getting user objects into the downtown. There are a few options people have suggested and they seem to work, but they involve a lot of messing around with files that you probably don’t want to do. Also I’m still trying to determine how objects fit into the various sub-catagories. I’ll let you know as soon as I get these options available and either release new mini-tools to help out or update existing ones. I’ve heard through the newsgroups and forums that Maxis might be working on a tool as well, so we’ll see what happens there.

Some people have been griping that I’m working too much on Hot Date stuff lately. Well tough. I don’t want to release blueprint (or any other tool) without being compatible with the current version of the game, and that version is Hot Date (as well as being backward compatible with everything else). I am still working on the other stuff and making sure it’s complete and gives you a useful tool that’s easy to use.

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